Thursday, March 22, 2007

BYU Prepares for pro-Gay Demonstration

  A gay advocacy group has arrived in Utah and is preparing for a
demonstration at BYU. BYU, which is owned by the LDS Church, is the
latest stop for the organization which is protesting Christian colleges
which they say discriminate against homosexuals. It's scheduled to
happen this Thursday at BYU.

The group known as SoulForce plans to demonstrate on campus, and that
will likely lead to them being arrested for trespassing.

BYU officials say the group won't run into trouble with the university
as long as it stays on public property.

"We have communicated with SoulForce in writing before the group's tour
even began that the organization would not be welcome on our campus
based on the group's behavior last year, where they were in clear
violation of our policies," BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins told KSL.

Last April when SoulForce came to BYU's campus, 29 protestors were
arrested and escorted off of the campus. The organization travels around
the country and holds protests, primarily at religious colleges and
universities which they say discriminate against gay lifestyles.

"Individuals and organizations can't come onto our campus and hold a
demonstration or use our campus for a public forum. We made this very
clear in writing with SoulForce," said Jenkins. "But from the very
beginning they made it clear to us that their intent was to hold a
demonstration that would result in arrests."

A press release issued by the groups says, /"The primary goal of the
SoulForce Equality Ride visit to the BYU community is to end the
suffering of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth, using
dialogue and discussion to increase understanding about their
experiences on campus."/

The group plans to march around campus for several hours on Thursday.
Again, BYU says no action will be taken as long as they stay off of
campus, but both sides are expecting the protest will lead to some arrests.

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